Thursday, August 4, 2016


Hey, teacher friends!! I'm in full BTS mode and one item on my to-do list was update my CHAMPS / Rules visuals. I incorporate the CHAMPS systemWhole Brain teaching, and some basic American Sign Langauge to teach to my kiddos. They remember every rule this way and when I need to remind them of a rule, I just do the hand motion and they know exactly what I need them to do. We take the first 2 weeks of school and look at a rule a day. We read a social story, complete an interactive notebook and everyone takes turns 'showing the rule.' I have the rules velcroed to the front of the room and the students have access to small 'rule cards' as well.

I do not switch the CHAMPS during different activities because it is too confusing for my students. These rules can apply to all work in my classroom.

C is for Conversation, as long as they are completing their work, they are more than likely conversing appropriately-which for my students' conversations are greatly encouraged.

H is for Help. I've applied Hands to Self here. My students sometimes have a difficult time keeping their hands to themselves.  Therefore, if their hands are 'doing what they're supposed to' then they can have the opportunity to ask for help appropriately and remain on task.

A is for Activity.  Everyone in my class can be doing a different activity at any moment.  Therefore as long as they are following their schedule or 'asking first' before going to a choice activity, then they are doing what they are supposed to and following the rules.

M is for movement. We spend a great deal of time talking about 'making smart choices.' This encourages my students to critically think 'should I be doing this?'

P is for participation.  I want my students to reciprocate conversation as well as be polite and respectful, therefore I placed "Please and Thank you" as a rule.

S is for supplies.  I made this 'Sit at your desk.' I have students who wander and roam most of the time, but as long as they sit at their desk to complete their work, they will have access to their supplies and appropriate equipment.

I hope this helps! Here's a little freebie if  you're interested in incorporating this into your classroom.

 What do you use for your class rules?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Restocking the Classroom

Happy 4th of July!! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and isn't spending too much time 'working' on teacher stuff. :) I'm sharing a strategy to restock my special education self contained classroom.  I do ask parents to send in some supplies, but typically I get a few items and it rarely lasts to the holidays.  Therefore, game plan "restock during the summer" has significantly helped the past 2 years! 

My school supply list

Here's how I restock:

Over the summer I purchase items that aren't typically tax free (velcro, laminate, ziplock bags, and clorox wipes).  I typically shop once a week, so I rotate these items over 12 weeks: 
  • week 1, 5, 9: Velcro
  • week 2, 6, 10: laminate
  • week 3, 7, 11: zip lock bags & Tissues
  • week 4, 8, 12: Clorox wipes

Then during tax free weekend, I restock any items that I could get tax free, such as: sticky notes, highlighters, staples, tape, pens, pencils, glue sticks, etc. The week before school starts I also restock on any positive reinforcement I can use with the students (sodas, juice, candy, crackers, etc.) I typically find out what students like by observations and having the students and the parents complete my surveys at the beginning of the year. 
Parent surveys
Student Reinforcement Survey

How do you obtain supplies for your classroom?? Do you restock your supplies with help of parents? PTA? School district?

Have a great summer and I hope this will help you for the 16-17 school year. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Graduation Celebration

I teach students in 6th-8th grade and every year we hold a graduation and promotion ceremony.  This year we winged it since time for practice was little to none.  The kids did well and the parents loved how we had the orchestra play the processional as the classes walked in.  Our choir students presented a beautiful rendition of Gone, Gone, Gone by Phillip Phillips.  Each student received an award and then we presented a video of photos from the year as well as the 8th graders baby photos. :) Here's a few of the awards(academic and non-academic) we handed out in case you're stumped for ideas: 
  • Most Improved-the student showing the most improvement
  • Task Master-the one who completes all his tasks
  • Mr. One Man Band-the student with the most musical talent
  • Most Organized-the student who is most organized
  • Most Hard Working-always wanting to work
  • Classroom Comedian-always making us L.O.L.
  • Best Behavior-always displays perfect behavior
  • Chatter Box-Never at a loss for words
  • Classroom Diva-always looking the best
  • Perfect Gentleman-displaying perfect manners
  • Classroom Columbus-enjoys exploring the classroom
  • Sweetie Pie-has the biggest heart
  • Smiles 4 miles- the student who is always smiling

Afterwards photos were taken, cake was devoured and tears were shed with the parents in honor of how far their kiddos have grown. How does your class and school celebrate graduation/promotion/end of the year? Share in a comment below!